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Karl Mundt Collection Finding Aid

A description of the Karl E. Mundt Collection at Dakota State University

Karl Earl Mundt, United States Congress, 1938-1972

This guide serves as a finding aid for the Karl Mundt Collection at the Dakota State University Archives. To the left you will find a menu that corresponds to the arrangement of the collection. Clicking any item in the menu will display a page that contains a general description and list of contents in each records group.

Access and Use
The Karl Mundt Collection is open to research, and no special permissions are necessary to access its materials. Researchers requiring extended access to the collection are asked to contact the archivist to make arrangements.

The document portion of the collection is available on microfilm via inter-library loan.

History of the Karl Mundt Collection
The Karl E. Mundt Historical & Educational Foundation was established in 1963 as a non-profit organization with the mission of creating a repository that would promote Senator Mundt's legacy, and preserve his papers. Fundraising by the Foundation's board of directors paid for the building of the Karl Mundt Library, with the lower level of the library being reserved for the Foundation's offices. Construction of the Karl Mundt Library was completed in 1968, and the building was dedicated by President Richard M. Nixon on June 3, 1969. Senator Mundt suffered a debilitating stroke later that same year, and the Foundation began collecting his papers in 1970. The rest of the collection, including Mundt's personal effects, was gifted to the Foundation following the Senator's death in 1974. An archivist was hired in 1976 to process the collection, which was completed several years later. The collection remained under custody of the Foundation until its dissolution in 2016, at which time the Foundation's assets, including the Karl Mundt Collection, were signed over to the Karl Mundt Library by agreement between the Foundation's board of directors and Dakota State University.

Scope and Arrangement

The Karl Mundt Collection contains materials that represent the breadth of Senator Mundt's life and career. The approximate period of time covered by these materials is from Mundt's birth in 1900, to the death of his wife, Mary Moses, in 1985. In addition to Mundt's Congressional papers, the collection includes personal effects, family heirlooms, a reference library, and various other ephemera and memorabilia related to the Senator and the impact of his work. 

The document collection is arranged into fifteen distinct records groups, and further divided into series and sub-series that reflect specific topics and subjects that are addressed by the materials in those series. In total the Karl Mundt Collection includes over 1,500 document boxes totaling nearly 700 linear feet, containing approximately two million individual documents. The media collection consists of over 300 audiovisual recordings, 6,000 photographs, paintings, and 100 scrapbooks. In addition to those materials, the collection holds approximately 270 three-dimensional artifacts, and over 1,200 bound volumes.


The current revision of this finding aid is generated from different sources. The first is Karl E. Mundt, United State Congress, 1938-1972: A Description of the Manuscript Collection, written by Pauline E. Teagarden, and published by the Karl E. Mundt Historical and Education Foundation in April, 1994. The second is the detailed Karl E. Mundt Archival Library inventory sheets, compiled by the Mundt Archivist. The last revision of the inventory sheet was published in 2014. The finding aids here reflect the most current and up to date description of the collection based on those sources.

Karl E. Mundt Library, Dakota State University, Madison, South Dakota 57042